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Archived Blog Posts
Showing 16 posts from 2014.
Seeking a Bipartisan Immigration Policy
As with many other actions by the Obama Administration, both the anticipation and political antagonism surrounding his immigration executive order were greater than the actual impact of the policy. From the perspective of critics who deny complexity in the immigration debate and see deportations and fence building as the only legitimate responses to the question, anything the President did to make the lives of undocumented workers better was going to be an outrage.... Read More
A Bipartisan Opportunity on Nominations
The day after the November 4th election returned Republicans to power in the Senate, a group of conservative leaders sent an open memorandum to Senate Republicans arguing that they should not restore the 60-vote threshold to cut off debate on nominations to administration posts and non-Supreme Court judicial slots. On November 6th, an editorial by Senator Orrin Hatch and C. Boyden Gray in the Wall Street Journal made a similar case, saying, “Some bells cannot be unrung.” They laid down a marker against a Republican reversal of the “nuclear option” exercised by Democrats in November 2013. Perpetuation of the nuclear option would represent another regrettable step toward remaking the Senate in the image of the House of Representatives.... Read More
On Transparency, It Really Is All About That Political Will at the Top
Through our foreign Aid Effectiveness work at The Lugar Center, we focus on bringing greater accountability to foreign assistance. This accountability is comprised of three key components - transparency, evaluation, and learning – and is based on the belief that being transparent about what is being spent, for what purpose and where, evaluating whether the investment has indeed had an impact on achieving its goals, and then using what is learned from the project to strengthen that program and/or others, we can exert greater impact on helping people support themselves. This accountability can and should set a high bar for both taxpayers and donors of foreign aid, and for those who receive it.... Read More
What’s Next for Niger?
It’s a busy fall on the food security front. In September the United Nations through its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 (SOFI 2014) in which it reported that about 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger. This incomprehensibly high number actually represents progress. Since more than 26 countries and a host of NGOs began making initial funding commitment to support global agriculture development in 2009 at the G-8 meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, the number of people suffering from chronic hunger has been edging downward – from 842 million last year and just over a billion in 2012. ... Read More
New Report on U.S. Food Aid Programs Confirms Urgent Need for Reform
Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications in conjunction with USA Today has just released a series of reports on the U.S. food aid program. These reports add to the bounty of governmental and non-governmental studies citing the incredible shipping expenses associated with these programs. The reports confirm that rational reforms would save the lives of many people in desperate circumstances, as well as reducing costs for taxpayers. Unfortunately, these reforms are opposed by special interests that benefit financially from these inefficiencies.... Read More
Transparency Really Does Matter
Transparency really does matter. It is through data and evidence that we hold ourselves mutually accountable for the successful outcomes of U.S. foreign assistance, paving the way toward a more stable, prosperous and secure world... Read More
Saving Lives Through Efficient Food Aid Delivery
Early this year our government made real progress in improving the way we provide food aid to chronically hungry people and those in crises. Unfortunately, recent actions by the House of Representatives threaten to undermine important reforms that would make food aid programs more effective and efficient. If the House action stands, the result will be more hungry people in the world, less efficiency in U.S. food assistance programs, and reduced benefit to U.S. diplomacy from these programs.... Read More
Aid Effectiveness: The Way Forward for Donors and Recipients
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) recently issued a new report, The Way Forward: A Reform Agenda for 2014 and Beyond. This policy paper is the first major product of a reformulated MFAN, and it underscores the core mission of the organization. MFAN was formed in 2008 as a coalition of organizations and leading think tanks that work with or frequently intersect U.S. development programs. MFAN functions as an advocate for policies that make U.S. foreign assistance more effective and transparent... Read More
The Lugar Center Launches Resources for Researchers
Global food security is indeed a complex issue. If you are unfamiliar with it or wonder what it really means, we encourage you to read a brief overview of the problem on the Global Food Security tab of our webpage. Because numerous hurdles and complexities exacerbate the challenge of achieving a food secure world, we have developed a new set of documents we are calling Resources for Researchers that we hope may better inform policy-makers, educators and citizens about the issue. With this effort, we hope to live up to our mandate to bring evidence to bear on difficult issues confronting the United States and the world.... Read More
Climate Change, Science, and Global Agriculture
The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 5th Assessment presents some dire warnings for agriculture. The IPCC makes clear that climate change is already affecting agriculture and that its effects will be felt by rich and poor nations alike. Some regions are already seeing declines in wheat and maize yields. Further decreases are projected globally to grow by 2% each decade by 2030.... Read More